In a dream, riddle-full of dark
and industrial violence
It is night, like in Cloverfield –
I am observing guileless loss
Someone dies and someone screams – no
don’t look over there, it’s not worth it.
I close my eyes, twist my head round
and wake up with pain in my chest.
As I question it and question,
the dream does not become clearer
It is images seen through ice –
I need something to make me smile
The note was sent by me to me
unsigned and without an ending
The black morning drags, and I toss
thinking of the curls in your hair
Never leave me, goddamn it, swear
that your post-entropic body
can justify the invention
of the lost world-eternal space
Swear it. My thoughts grow so sluggish
crawling around your end// a void
so sharp I am cut in half, now
when time has yet spared me. Amen
<< In-between two redbrick houses
there is an alcove and a shed
topped with a mossy corrugate.
On the campus. A leaf dances
shivers, hovers, behind the moss –
blown as if a storm plucked at it
on a taught invisible string.
I’m still in front of the horror >>
<< There is a leaf on the road home
I see in the peripheral
behind me when I look back down
the hill – on the grey concrete steps
It jumps and slaps the ground so fast
and in paroxysms of dance
confined to its small space – I blank
on everything and watch the glitch >>
<< Roland Barthes was crossing the road
when he suddenly stopped – in front
on the path ahead a brown leaf
shivered as if it was burning
but there was no smoke. Enraptured
he didn’t notice the milk truck.
As the blood pooled the leaf flew up
to hover over him, spinning >>
Fine, but if you put all your eggs in one basket, you’d better not drop that basket.
So often in anxious times you see your own internal features expressed in silences, gaps and tones in the speech of your friends. Your own face glares back out of them darkly and says, you’re not enough, you are guilty. But, as it often turns out, they never meant anything by it.
I long for the truth of a myth of a messianic moment where understanding passes over us in a sweet rapture. But it won’t.
The most we can hope for is to taste it, from time to time.
Growing up is stopping being afraid of something imaginary, and starting being afraid of something real, where it may be the same thing. For example, I am afraid of sunlight now, whereas when I was a child I was afraid of crying tears of metal, in the process of being filled with adamantium. This is not the same thing.
How slowly these realisations happen, and we can never be sure they have stopped. Imagine the fears we will have in the coming years! For example I recently started having nightmares that the entire process of writing will be disallowed to humans (because it is not optimal) and outsourced to an economy based on texts churned out at incredible speed by artificial intelligences writing word after word based on exactly what we have wanted. And these constructed by minds who were constructed out of everything that has been written, based around a kernel of demand.*
Yes you see we keep on feeding it different stimuli but it always tells us we are [fundamentally flawed] and [deserve to be punished]. Something to do with the way ancient authors viewed their peers. But we don’t have enough data in any other format! Come on, do they really need to read anyway? Doesn’t it just generate irrational brain-forms and cause them to be late for work! Not that we need them to work anymore
I mean who is the artificial intelligence here, really? All of which is to say I haven’t grown up yet.
*this has already happened
Occasionally walk down a path such that you wouldn’t mind to die at the end of it. Having seen the beech seed pods’ dark red and the leaves’ brown, damp on the verges, having felt the cold breeze chill your hand on the umbrella, having said ‘cold I welcome you for a moment’ til it echoes in your fingers and having heard the pop of the rain on plastic like rice crispies in a bowl on a quiet morning. And the greens oh the greens of the trees in towering walls and your lone figure at the base. And the end comes with a sigh of a ‘we have to die sometime. And now is a moment for that, having walked down that path.’ Across the way, the hill of trees sits in the misty rain, magentas and grey greens. Colours shore us.
But there remains this; that an act of self abnegation is a kind of assertion of authority over the world. For the following reasons. Either you believe you should stop, in which case you believe you are powerful and too powerful to change yourself, a contradiction. Or you believe your assessment of things is the most true, which is arrogant, considering the world. Or your abnegation is in itself a challenge to the world, since you believe you can still win by not wanting anything. Or something else. If you would just submit to things, you would have a better time, but that’s what I was saying, wasn’t it? No, I was saying something else. I forget.
Outside it has rained on and off all night. The sodden tea bag is cold in the bottom of the cup. I pop a small fruit gum in my mouth and chew it.